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Category Archives: actors

So much stranger, so much darker, so much madder, so much better.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I kind of always knew it would, eventually, once I set my mind to it. It was just a matter of finding the time, which I did over the Christmas/New Year holiday. I saw this time stretching in front of me and thought, whatever shall I do with it? And I looked at my Netflix subscription and thought, well, YOU certainly have been going underutilized lately, haven’t you?

And I fell headlong into a binge I have yet to come back from. (And to be honest, I don’t quite know what I’ll do with myself once I’m finished, so I’d rather not think about that right now, thanks.)

Yes, it’s finally happened, people of the blog.

I am obsessed – BEYOND obsessed – with Doctor Who.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I've got it bad bad bad.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I’ve got it bad bad bad.

Now, I know in even writing this, I’m going to be getting comments from people who are all “I’ve been watching this since it STARTED and I’ve seen every EPISODE and I know THE WHOLE STORY and you know NOTHING, Jon Snow” (sorry, sorry, mixing up fandoms, there, I think that’s a excommunicable offense) so let me quantify this situation.

A while back, I watched the first two episodes of the reboot (with Christopher Eccleston) with some friends and liked them more than I thought I would. I meant to go back and continue with that, but my life often gets in the way of my life.

I’d never gotten into Doctor Who because it seemed weird and I didn’t think I’d GET it and it just seemed like one of those odd things that would confuse me if I tried to get involved so I thought it best if I stayed away. Like sports. Or playing an instrument. I AM OFTEN NOT GOOD AT THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE EXCEL AT! It is a sad fact of life.

But then it became clear that almost every single intelligent person I knew was very, VERY into this show, and I needed to be watching it. Which almost made me NOT want to watch it – when everyone loves something, I immediately think, “Well, I hate fads” because I’m kind of a dick (I mean, you all seem to love that terrible Family Guy show, but the one time I turned it on to see what was up, they were making fun of domestic violence and I was so disgusted I never turned it on again, so what the hell, you guys?) but that backfired when everyone started ranting about how much they loved Serial and I avoided it for a while but then thought “What the hell” and downloaded it for a car trip and became SO OBSESSED with it and now look things up online about it ALL THE TIME because who DOESN’T want to know what Adnan and Hae really looked like, right?

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

And OMG, who DO we think killed her? I’m leaning one way, but I won’t tell you which in case you either haven’t listened yet (and if not, GET TO IT, SLAPPY!) or aren’t all the way done and don’t want me spoiling you. Also, my theory has more holes in it than Swiss cheese on the Titanic, you guys, and super-smart reporter friend at work and I were talking about it this weekend and his theory was SO SMART which is why he’s a reporter, I suppose, so now I am AT! A! LOSS! THERE ARE SO MANY WEIRD MOVING PARTS ON THIS CASE. Season two of Serial, please happen now, I want to fall headlong into another case immediately!

That was a very long digression.

ANYWAY. So I thought, “I will start watching this, what’s the worst that can happen” and now it’s been two weeks and I CAN NOT STOP.

NOW! Before I go ANY FURTHER! I have just started what I believe to be David Tennant’s last season so you are NOT ALLOWED to tell me anything that happens after this. I am trying very hard to stay spoiler-free. Unfortunately I’ve been a LITTLE spoiled, but that was before I started watching this and didn’t know I would ever care. So don’t comment all “In Episode Blah-Blah THE COMPANION IS REALLY A CYBERMAN IN DISGUISE” because I will be SO MAD at you!

Oh, BTW, I also finished "Arrested Development." I'm going to pretend the final season didn't happen. I wasn't impressed. Sorry, world.

Oh, BTW, I also finished “Arrested Development.” I’m going to pretend the final season didn’t happen. I wasn’t impressed. Sorry, world.

There’s really too much that I love about this show to go on about it in detail and you’re going to be split into two contingents, here, the ones that already KNOW it’s fantastic and the ones that don’t CARE and therefore have already tuned OUT, but I’m still going to ramble a bit. It’s my blog, I think I’m allowed.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DOCTOR WHO!

  • It’s intelligent and goofy all at once. It makes me laugh AND it makes me think. Sometimes there are mysteries and sometimes it’s just funny and sometimes (most of the time) it’s a little bit of both.
  • The science isn’t TOO sciency. Andreas picked on me when I said I was watching this because the science wasn’t realistic but I don’t know much about all the science, anyway, so if they were being all realistic about it, I wouldn’t know what was going on. It’s just dumbed-down (and, yes, Andreas, probably wrong) enough that it’s cool with me, yo. (Andreas has other issues with the show, he just told me. I’ll let him tell you in the comments. You know what’s great about him? Well, other than everything? Even if we totally disagree, we still respect and love one another. That’s why he’s my Andreas, you guys. And I miss him and his whole family in the land of the Finns like CRAZINESS every DAY.)
  • There is totally romance and emotional things and I am ALWAYS WEEPING. There was one episode where I had to take a SINCERE BREAK from watching the show because I was EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATED. That’s a good show. I love a good cry. So, so much. Like, break out the Kleenex, here I am, and I’m in seventh heaven. (OMG! Speaking of which, the dad from Seventh Heaven was a child molester? Who saw THAT one coming, right? DISTRESSING!)
  • The Doctor makes me INSANELY HAPPY. He is joyous and childlike but also serious with the weight of the world on his shoulders and he has all the best lines and I love love LOVE watching him. I really enjoyed Eccleston but OH, am I head-over-heels for Tennant and his happy Converse All-Stars and bouncy hair. (I knew I’d like him – I’ve seen him in a couple of other things, the best of which being Hamlet with Patrick Stewart, which was BRILLIANT. I am being very all-capsy today. Why the hell did they waste him so much in that awful Gracepoint? So disheartening.) Tennant is beyond amazing here. I am already pre-mourning his loss. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fall in love with another actor in this role like I’ve fallen in love with him here.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

  • I was informed I was going to hate Rose, but I LOVED her. I want all Rose, all the time. Yes, yes, apparently there are Companions upcoming that I will love very much (Martha was fine, but underutilized, yeah? It kind of made me sad. Also, all her PINING. Ugh, I think probably I related to her too much, but she started to make me cringe) but right now I’m all “BRING ROSE BACK DAMMIT” and having some issues with her being gone.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don't do that unless you know what's coming up, my little gingersnaps.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don’t do that unless you know what’s coming up, my little gingersnaps.

  • There are so many shows I can see took a page from this. There are elements of Doctor Who in so many of my favorite shows – Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Buffy (and a lot of Whedon’s work, actually, now that I’m thinking about it), Supernatural, this weird time-travelly show called Voyagers I used to watch when I was little…and there was totally a scene in one episode where I was all “THAT IS SO THE AMBER SPYGLASS!” and it TOTALLY WAS, per a quote from one of the writers that I read. They also reference pop culture things all the time (I’m sure half of the time I miss it, but when they did a shout-out to J.K. Rowling I laughed my ass off) and it’s just the perfect sci-fi/horror/fantasy/thriller nerd show in the entire planet.
  • You constantly get to see British actors and you’re all “I know that person BUT FROM WHERE” and you look them up and you giggle. Of course I knew who Simon Pegg was, but Carey Mulligan looked so damn young I couldn’t place her. And I had no idea the weird brash British chick from the American version of The Office was famous because of Doctor Who. Kylie Minogue looks old. I remember her in scrunchies and slouch socks. Also, the kid that plays Spiderman and is dating Emma Stone was in one episode (he was young) and whenever anyone was at a loss for what to do I kept shouting at the screen “WHY AREN’T YOU SAVING EVERYONE, SPIDERMAN?” Only I pronounce it “Spidermen” like Phoebe did on Friends. Like it’s his last name. “Irving Spiderman.” “COME ON, SPIDERMAN, SAVE THE DOCTOR ALREADY! SHOOT WEBS OR SOMETHING!” I would shout, and giggle gleefully. This scared the cat.

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

  • “Blink” is the best episode I’ve seen so far. Closely followed by “Doomsday.” The first is a very good standalone if you are trying to get someone into the series. The second would make no sense to someone unless they were following the series closely. One of these two episodes is the aforementioned cry-myself-sick episode; you can decide which one on your own. Play along at home, kiddos. Fun times.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

  • The baddies are awesome. Some are scary (WEEPING ANGELS! Those Host angel thingies from the Titanic Christmas special!) and some are kitschy and funny (if the best thing ever isn’t Cybermen and Daleks having a snark-off, I don’t know what is, I laughed until I almost peed) and some are VERY EVIL AND WICKED BUT ALSO FUN (OMG, The Master, right?) Some, however, are just the worst. Who thought it was a good idea to make the brilliant and multi-talented Mark Gatiss into a scorpion-thing? What was up with that woman who was playing a giant red spider-creature as if she was maybe a drag queen trying to project to the back row of a large theater? If they bring her back, I’m boycotting that episode. She was TERRIBLE. I have to imagine she was either some famous British actress everyone loves for no apparent reason, or one of the producer’s wives. I kept asking her to shush it up. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to hear me.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

I really need to end this.

TO SUM UP.

Big apologies, friends who were all “WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU WATCHING DOCTOR WHO, AMY, YOU NUMBSKULL.” I am apparently attempting to remedy this by cramming it all in my head as fast as I can. Once this is done, the very kind Josh has informed me of the existence of Torchwood (oh, Captain Jack with your dimples, I can’t resist you) and other British shows I NEED to be watching, like, immediately. I think I know what I’ll be doing while Watertown is trapped in what seems to be some sort of eternal winter zone.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

If you don’t spoil me in the comments, thank you. If you DO spoil me in the comments, I CURSE THEE AND THY OFFSPRING.

Also, I am willing to bet you before the month’s out I will be in possession of a tee-shirt that says “The Angels Have the Phone Box.” I have very little willpower and I need to sleep with that on my body.

Yep. It was really just a matter of time.

Allons-y. There are a lot of episodes left and they’re certainly not going to watch themselves.

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They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of Batman; he can be the outcast.

OK, so yesterday we talked about how non-outraged I was about Miley Cyrus. From the comments, it seems most of you were about as meh on that as I was (or maybe you were super-outraged but too shy to speak up. FEEL FREE TO SPEAK UP! I promise I won’t bite. I only get mad at tornadoes of constant negative energy, passive-aggressive ragemonsters, and trolls. If you want to disagree with me, I’m cool with that. Hell, Jim used to disagree with me on the regular, and I still think he’s just the best, even if he’s dead to Dad and Dad called him “that cigar-chomping fancyman” last night.)

Let’s see how offended you are that I WASN’T offended by the other thing that didn’t offend me recently.

Yes.

It’s true.

I am not at all offended by Ben Affleck being chosen to play Batman in the new Batman vs. Superman movie.

I KNOW. TAKE AWAY MY GEEK CARD RIGHT NOW.

I have many reasons for this decision.

REASON THE FIRST: I WON’T WATCH THE MOVIE ANYWAY

I don’t care for superhero movies. When I was young, I’m sure I watched some. I think I watched one or two of the original Superman movies. I liked Michael Keaton as Batman; Clooney and Kilmer, not so much. As an adult, I watched The Avengers because Joss Whedon (and honestly didn’t get most of it because I hadn’t seen the movies it referenced, except for Iron Man.) I’ve watched the first two Iron Man movies, because SHUT UP, is why. I’m crazy in love with Robert Downey Jr. and I love him in that role. He makes me so happy. I might have accidentally watched some of one of the X-Men movies but I didn’t care. I watched the first two Batman movies (the Christian Bale ones, I mean) because I wanted to see the second one (because I’d heard so much about Heath Ledger’s Joker) so I wanted to know what was going on so I watched the first one. Was there a third one? I feel like maybe there was. I didn’t care enough to watch that. They were fine. I liked the dark grittiness and the lack of camp. But superhero movies and me – eh.

Those EYES. The FACIAL HAIR. The SNARKERY. I am head-over-heels for this man. Sincerely.

Those EYES. The FACIAL HAIR. The SNARKERY. I am head-over-heels for this man. Sincerely.

Thing is, I like superheroes. I don’t know why, exactly, I don’t like superhero movies. I think I like them in the abstract more than in the flesh, or something. Because the special effects are usually silly, and what seems noble just comes across as cheesy.

So right now you’re like, “THEN WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?” I’m a loudmouth with a blog, and I’ve had to listen to you all screaming about how terribly Ben Affleck’s going to ruin the WHOLE WOOOOOOOORLD, is who I am. So I get to judge, just as much as you do. Back off, grumbly.

REASON THE SECOND: PEOPLE HAVE WAY TOO MUCH DAMN FREE TIME

Seriously, you all got SHOUTY. Like, BEYOND shouty. It was kind of frightening to watch. People immediately fell into two camps: the “Affleck? AFFLECK? IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD!” people, and the “Meh, give the guy a chance” people.

You guys. YOU GUYS. You know it’s just a movie, right? Like, yes, I get it, people get all invested in their stories. I get it. I guess I just don’t have that in me. I mean, I was super-sad when the movie version of A Prayer for Owen Meany was THE WORST THING EVER ZOMG, but I didn’t go online and put up memes about how we needed to murder Ashley Judd, either. THERE ARE MEMES ABOUT MURDERING BEN AFFLECK. OVER A ROLE IN A MOVIE.

THIS IS NOT OK. This is a MARRIED MAN WHO HAS CHILDREN. What the hell is WRONG with you people?

THIS IS NOT OK. This is a MARRIED MAN WHO HAS CHILDREN. What the hell is WRONG with you people? Yes, I KNOW it’s a movie quote. THAT IS NOT THE POINT HERE.

Guys, I’m all for geeky passion. I totally am. I am one of you. I AM ONE OF YOUR CROWD. I am passionate about uncool shit. I was a geek back when that was an INSULT. But there’s geeky passion…then there’s taking the express train to crazytown. I think a few of you took the express train to crazytown when the Affleck announcement came out. I’d like to say I’m not judging you? But that’d be a lie. I totally am.

(You do know that Ben Affleck is a real person with FEELINGS, right? And that by screaming how much you hate him and how terrible of an actor/person he is ALL OVER THE INTERWEBS, his feelings are probably getting a little tender? “WHO CARES HE CAN DRY HIS TEARS WITH HIS MILLIONS!” Yeah, shut up. People with money have feelings, too. And it’s shitty to be that mean to ANYONE.)

OK, here’s the third point, and here’s where you all start yelling at me; I don’t even care. I stand by this one.

REASON THE THIRD: I THINK BEN AFFLECK IS A GOOD ACTOR

Shush. JUST SHUSH.

Yes. I am aware that he’s done some questionable movies. Can you think of a single actor who has a long resume who DIDN’T do some questionable movies? I can’t think of a single actor who’s only been in hits his or her whole career. Acting’s a tough game, kiddos. Sometimes you take roles because you need the money; sometimes you take roles because you owe the director or producer or production company a favor; sometimes you take roles because going into it, it seemed like a different role/movie/production/play than the final product proves to be; sometimes you take roles because you’re guaranteed exposure, or because you want the opportunity to work with a certain actor/director/producer and don’t know when you’ll get that chance again, or because if you do this project, the Powers That Be might look kindly on you for another (good) project.

I’m the first to admit I haven’t seen everything Affleck’s been in (I mean, seriously, the guy’s been in a lot of movies) but I’ve seen more Affleck movies than a lot of other actors’ movies…and that’s saying a lot, considering I don’t watch movies much anymore. I have enough to do to keep up with all the television I watch.

I just looked at his IMDb. I’ve seen all of his Kevin Smith movies. I’ve also seen Pearl Harbor, 200 Cigarettes, Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Phantoms, Good Will Hunting, and Dazed and Confused. I have Argo sitting here, but I haven’t seen it yet. I also saw Gone Baby Gone, which he directed. I’ve seen him every time he’s hosted Saturday Night Live.

No, I didn’t see the movies people like to shout about when they’re all “OMG NOT AFFLECK!!1!” like Gigli and Daredevil and Reindeer Games. I know people point out Jersey Girl as one of the bad movies. I didn’t think Jersey Girl was one of Smith’s best films, but I didn’t hate it like most people did. I thought it was fine. A bad Kevin Smith movie is still, for me, leaps and bounds above a lot of other movies.

Here’s the thing, you guys. I’m a fan of Affleck’s work. I think he’s come a long way. I think he was good to begin with, if a little raw; I think he’s matured into a very poised, talented man, and his directing proves this. His acting has also matured.

(I also think he’s come a long way since the Bennifer days, and I didn’t think he’d bounce back from that. Good for him.)

Thing is, I liked him before. I liked him when he was a goofball in the early Kevin Smith movies, and I think he has one of the single most affecting moments in my favorite Smith movie, which is Dogma. You’re all probably going to say “WHATEVER! CHEESY!” but the scene where he meets up with God (yes, the Alanis Morissette God) and he realizes she’s forgiven him, and is going to send him home, and he apologizes with that little catch in his throat, and thanks her, and just breaks down?

This scene. This one RIGHT HERE.

This scene. This one RIGHT HERE.

Every time, you guys. Every damn time. I don’t care what you think about the movie or that scene or Affleck as an actor; I find that tremendously powerful. When I think about Affleck as an actor, that’s the scene that immediately comes to mind. That scene cemented him in my mind as someone to watch.

I also think he does tremendous work in Shakespeare in Love. It’s not the lead role, but when he’s on-screen, you watch him. You can’t help but. He commands the screen. He’s funny and brash and intelligent and he’s a damn MOVIE star. You can SEE that in him.

I also sometimes get "Gentlemen upstage, ladies downstage...are you a lady, Mr. Kent?" stuck in my head in Ned Alleyn's sing-song and it makes me grin EVERY TIME.

I also sometimes get “Gentlemen upstage, ladies downstage…are you a lady, Mr. Kent?” stuck in my head in Ned Alleyn’s sing-song and it makes me grin EVERY TIME.

And as we all know? He was the bomb in Phantoms, yo.

(And shut up, I LOVE ARMAGEDDON. It makes me cry. IT MAKES ME CRY SO HARD. No, not because of the Affleck parts, because of the daddy/daughter parts, but I don’t hate Affleck in that, either. I actually like that movie quite a bit, when I’m in the mood for an end-of-the-world type thing or when I’m flipping channels and it happens to be on.)

I think the guy can act; I think the guy can direct.

Do I think the guy can play Batman?

I DON’T KNOW. And neither do you. NEITHER DO ANY OF YOU.

Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

For everyone who’s ever played a superhero, there have been people who screamed, “NOOOOOO!” Those people are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. As people are.

(And if I’m remembering correctly, the internet was pretty split on the performance of the new guy who’s playing Superman, right? Henry Cavill, or whatever? So a lot of you are going into the movie not even liking SUPERMAN, for the love of Pete!)

I sincerely hope that Affleck turns in a kickass performance in this movie. As mentioned, I probably won’t watch it. I just don’t care about superhero movies. (I do, however, love me some Affleck, so there’s the chance I might watch it on DVD or Netflix or something someday.)

But in the meantime?

PLEASE TRY TO KEEP YOUR NERDRAGE TO A REASONABLE LEVEL. Wait until it comes out, and judge the movie RATIONALLY on its MERITS. Don’t go in all pissy-faced and PREPARED to hate it. That’s the sure way to hate something. I’m a REVIEWER, you guys. You need to go into something all clean-slatey. It’s the best way to judge something. I’m telling you. It’s only fair. I GET PAID TO REVIEW THINGS ON THE REGULAR.

Let the guy ACT, you know? It is not life-or-death. He has not been tasked with operating on Betty White or coordinating a tactical strike on Yemen or something. IT IS A ROLE IN A MOVIE. I know it’s a BELOVED role, but it’s also a role played by THIS guy…

(Sigh, Kilmer…you will always and forever be my Tombstone boyfriend, but this made me laugh so hard I cried.)

So…seriously. Not at all life or death.

Calm it down, ok? Thanks.

Because it’s not going to change anything. Affleck knows what’s up.


So You Want to Be an Actor? Huh. That’s…a bold choice.

When I was sixteen, I was pretty sure I was going to be a world-famous poet and also a Broadway actress. Because I was sixteen. A lot of things seem possible when you are sixteen. I also thought I would marry Sean Astin (I had a crush on him in The Goonies, ok? Sheesh, stop being so judgey) and have a bunch of kids and probably also live in a mansion. And I really, really wanted a convertible.

Look how cute he was. Look! SO CUTE!

Look how cute he was. Look! SO CUTE!

As you can see, all of that has come to fruition. Every. Last. Bit. I am a poet who has been read…um…in the world. I have SEEN a show on Broadway, and at one of the shows I acted like I was more pleased with our seats than I actually was. (In my defense, they were REALLY far away. The people onstage looked like ants. Little singing, dancing ants. But I acted like I was pleased, because I didn’t want to hurt the person’s feelings I was with. See? ACTING! On BROADWAY!) I’ve…um…followed Sean Astin on Twitter? And who’s to say we might not still get married someday? (OK, that one I don’t really want, because he seems like a very nice man, but our fire is out. He totally never got tall enough for me. I like tall guys. Sorry, Sean Astin. I’m sorry our love has died. These things happen.) I have two cats who have multiple personalities depending on the day so that’s LIKE having a bunch of kids, kind of, in a very sad, shut-in kind of way. I live in…a place that is near a road that is near another road that is kind of near a mansion. And if I roll down my windows and drive really fast, it’s JUST LIKE A CONVERTIBLE. See? I’m really kind of winning life.

JUST like this. Only less shiny and much less cool.

JUST like this. Only less shiny and much less cool.

I did very well, acting-wise, in high school. I was not self-aware enough to realize that was because I lived in a very, very small town, and there were very few actors there. When I went to college, in a much bigger town, with people who actually COULD act, and went to high schools with actual acting CLASSES, I realized, huh. I am…not actually very good at this, comparatively. I still act, once in a blue moon. And work backstage, which I learned I was much better at and was also much less stressful. Well, mostly less stressful. Sometimes things catch on fire. No, I’m not kidding. And sometimes the power goes out in the middle of a show. And sometimes actors have a mini-meltdown and you have to talk them down. Or sometimes all of those things happen at ONCE. But not often. Usually you get to read and relax a little, as long as the show’s going well.

Shh, actors, don't bother the stage manager.

Shh, actors, don’t bother the stage manager.

I do run into quite a few people – young people, usually – who are very starry-eyed and are planning on moving to New York City to conquer Broadway, or to L.A. to conquer the silver screen. And I don’t want to break their little hearts. I really don’t. But sometimes they leave, then they come back with sad eyes and that is just the worst. Because SO MANY people move to those places to make it big. And there are only so many roles, you know?

So last week, one of my friends posted this, which is a list of very good tips for actors or people who want to be actors or people who THINK they want to be actors. (And also fancy because he spells theater “theatre” like a FANCY FANCY PERSON.) If you have any interest in acting, it is totally worth a read. This guy is intelligent. Without being heartbreaky to all these little actory people. Let’s take a look at some of these tips, shall we? Sure we shall.

“Stealing the show” is not a compliment. The ensemble is more important than your “moments”.

True. Hard to understand when you’re young, though. Because you are VERY “look at ME! Look at ME!” when you’re young. Here’s a tip, though: if you’re a good actor, you can steal the show without stealing the show. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a show that hasn’t been very good, but there was one actor in it that was – so I concentrated on that actor. That actor wasn’t attempting to upstage everyone, or doing things that were distracting from the action, but just by being a very good actor, he or she did steal the show. This sometimes even happens in very good shows. In comparison, if someone is ATTEMPTING to steal the show, it just gets annoying, and I stop paying attention to those people. So pay attention to your own paper and stop trying to upstage your fellow actors and you just might steal the show anyway.

This is a perfect example of the WRONG type of upstaging. Bad job, Kanye. WAY bad.

This is a perfect example of the WRONG type of upstaging. Bad job, Kanye. WAY bad.

You’d be surprised how few people are willing to pay for theatre tickets when they aren’t your friends and family and have no personal connection to you whatsoever.

Sadly, as someone who works in theater, I can tell you that this is the case. Yes, a lot of our audience members are friends and family members of the cast or crew. But the hard part is getting just your everyday human to come to the theater. Because people do not like to attend theater. People go to movies; people go to concerts and sports and such. But theater? LIVE HUMANS PUTTING ON A SHOW? That is CRAZYTALK! I’ve also told everyone I know about shows I’m working on and guess how many come? Probably 4. People just don’t go to theater. If you can think of a way we can change that, you let me know. And NO, nudity is not an answer. We tried that. Still got the same number of audience members. Although one of them did, strangely, bring a magnifying glass and used it in the nude scene. I don’t know, either.

The stage manager always works much harder than you. And technically, you work for him/her, not the other way around.

TRUE AND YES. As someone who has probably stage managed more than anything else she’s done in theater, this is very seriously true. The stage manager works their butt off, and the actors DO work for us. A good stage manager doesn’t make it SEEM like they work for us, but we do tell the actors where to go and when to be there, when and where to put their props, how best to change their clothing…the list goes on and on. And if the actors misbehave, we’re in charge of yelling at them for it. Also, be nice to your stage manager. It can only help you in the long run. Promise.

This...isn't too far off, actually.

This…isn’t too far off, actually.

Directors, casting agents, and producers care as much about how easy you will be to work with as they do about how good you are for the role. If not more so.

I am often in on the casting decisions at my theater. I can tell you that yes, of course we talk about who gave the strongest audition. But we also knock people completely out of the running if a., we’ve worked with them before and they were an utter nightmare, refused to take direction, were rude to the other actors, were a creepy stalker, or one of a million other reasons we might not want to work with them again, or b., we’ve heard they were hard to work with from someone at another theater. Listen, I’m going to give you probably the single most important piece of advice you’ll ever get in theater. Ready? Theater people talk. It’s what we’re known for. We talk, we gossip, we snark. And your reputation is something we talk about. If you’re wonderful to work with – we talk about that. If you’re a terror to work with – we talk about that, too. And you’re going to start getting offered fewer and fewer roles, because your reputation follows you wherever you go. Sometimes for years. You need to safeguard it with your life. Be nice, be polite, take direction, follow rules, make people want to work with you again. It is something you are never going to regret, if you want to act.

There are plenty more on his list, which I highly recommend, if you are at all interested in acting (either professionally or not) you read.

It kind of all boils down to this, which I am stealing, without any embarrassment, from Wil Wheaton: don’t be a dick. If you are a joy to work with, people will want to work with you. So many actors don’t understand this. They show up, they kill it at the audition, they aren’t cast, and they rant to everyone who will listen, “I don’t UNDERSTAND. I was SO MUCH BETTER THAN EVERYONE WHO WAS THERE. What is WRONG with those people? They just don’t know talent when they see it. That show will fail. I’ll never see a show there again. I’ll tell my FRIENDS to stop seeing shows there. I’m going to email the Artistic Director and demand they tell me why I wasn’t cast. I’m going to email the director. I’m going to post things on their Facebook wall.”

Would you want to work with this person? Because I sure as hell wouldn’t want to. And if another theater asked me about them? I’d tell them the truth. They’re hard to work with. We talk, you see. We want what’s best for our theaters and what’s best for the other theaters in the area. It’s not out of vindictiveness. It’s out of protectiveness. We’ve worked with this person before; this person made our lives a living hell for months. Therefore, we don’t want someone else to be subjected to that.

There. Now you have all the tools you need to be an actor or actress, right? Right. And I’d never DISCOURAGE anyone from moving to the big, bad city to give it a try. I mean, people make it every day. Just…go into it with eyes open. And maybe have a backup plan. A backup plan that does not involve prostituting yourself so you have rent and food money. OK? Cool, cool.

And, sincerely. Don’t be a dick. That’s not only good advice for theater, that’s good advice for life, as well.


I’m only about a year behind on my pop culture. That’s good, right?

I have had a billion things to do tonight so now I left this until the last minute because I am an dummy so I won’t be going to bed until really late. I AM NOT THE SMARTEST.

Let’s see. What’s up in Amyville today. Well, I have actually watched TWO SOMEWHAT RECENT MOVIES this week. I know! It’s like I’m an actual functioning member of the human race. Well, they’re not RECENT recent. They’re within the last year or so, I think. More recent than things I usually watch. Or…well, let’s face it, I never watch movies, I don’t have the time. But randomly this week I had time for TWO WHOLE MOVIES ZOMG! I know! And have a third movie for later in the week if I don’t completely run out of time! I know, super-fancy!

FIRST, yesterday I watched Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Which I knew was going to kill me but I didn’t think was going to kill me as MUCH as it was going to kill me. I like to cry. I really, REALLY like to cry. Don’t even get me wrong. And I do it a LOT. I cry over EVERYTHING. Commercials. Stupid television shows. Thinking about things. Emailing people. Movies. Thing is, I don’t do it in front of people. Unless I’m watching something and someone else happens to be in the room or something. Then I try to be really quiet about it. (My dad does the same thing; his excuse is always “allergies ALLERGIES!” and then he’ll run out of the room and get a tissue and come back all “damn seasonal allergies, SO UNTIMELY” and I’ll pretend I believe him. It’s what daughters who love their dads who are also totally emotional do. I mean, it’s not like I got it from the neighbors. It’s a little bit of genetics and a little bit of a learned response. Also, I’m just a huge sap.) I don’t like to cry in front of people. It makes me feel like a weak lady. I AM NOT A WEAK LADY. Call me weak and see what happens when I get all ragey on you. I just…get emotional. About things. About ALL THE THINGS. That’s not TERRIBLE. It’s just Amy. It’s an Amy-thing. (If it makes you feel better, I also cry about HAPPY things. Sheesh.)

Oh, now this is disturbing. And, also me.

Anyway, this movie killed me. It was all the things. It was all the things that get me, rolled up into a movie. 9/11 and a child who loved his dad and a mystery and a quest and New York City and a man with a secret past and a mother who’d do anything for her child. It was a little sappy, maybe. But I wasn’t paying that much attention, because I WAS SOBBING LIKE A LUNATIC. Like, not just crying a little. Nope. No pretty lady-crying happened to me in this movie. Like, major ugly-cry. There were noises and everything. At one point, the cat decided he’d had enough and left. “Momm, you arr being crazey,” Dumbcat said disapprovingly.

(Please cast Tom Hanks as a 9/11 victim, movie, if you want to absolutely GUARANTEE I’m going to be crushed, by the way. Yikes. Also, the kid in this movie was fantastic. I hope he has a nice long career. He was great. Apparently the internet thought this movie was sappy and exploitative. Maybe. I liked it a lot, so I don’t really care what you think, internet.)

So when that was done I’d had a very good cry. A very good cry is EXTREMELY CATHARTIC and makes you feel all clean. I recommend everyone have a good cry every once and a while. It’s like an oil change or something. It’s a human oil-change. Then I slept very very well and woke up totally ready to face the new day, it was great.

Now I am watching (finally, I’ve been wanting to for a while) The Cabin in the Woods. I had no idea this was a whole THING. I thought it was just a stupid horror movie (but probably more awesome, because, well, Joss Whedon, let’s be clear, Joss Whedon makes everything amazing.) But you guys! It is not only a horror movie, it’s actually got a PLOT. And it’s smart and it’s funny and it’s got a lot of Whedonites in it and it’s also got a lot of gore (listen, I’m a sucker for the gore, I admit it) and it’s kept me guessing. And I watch a lot of horror movies, so it’s not easy to surprise me. I should have known Joss Whedon wouldn’t just do a normal horror movie. He’d do it like, well, Joss Whedon. Has Joss Whedon ever let me down? I think not.

Also, I have a weirdo crush on Fran Kranz. It’s his nose, I think. Don’t get me started, I have this weird Roman-nose thing. And this nerdy-boy thing. WE LIKE WHAT WE LIKE, PEOPLE. There’s no accounting for taste.

Tomorrow if I have time I am watching A WHOLE MOVIE ABOUT VIBRATORS. Yup. Which was, in news of ick, highly recommended by my dad. (More so because he likes Maggie Gyllenhaal than anything, I think. I’m going to pretend it’s not for the sex-parts. DAD DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT SEX BECAUSE HE IS DAD AND THEREFORE NO SEX UCK NO NO.) It is called Hysteria. I think it looks kind of awesome. (I like historical things, like how women were treated for lady-problems back in the day by men wielding vibrators, because OF COURSE that fixes everything. Well, kind of probably it made them feel better, but I don’t want some weird clinical doctor diddling around in my lady-business, thanks, ew, yuck.) So that’s tomorrow, if I don’t fall asleep when I get home. It’s a long week.

Oh, also Hugh Dancy? Well, that’s nice. I like that. OK, then.

And THEN, TODAY (it is Thursday, right?) I have a THING happening which is exciting, then the readthrough for The Laramie Project, then MORE WORK ARGH WHAT A WEEK, then Arlo Guthrie yay! Then who knows what the week ahead will hold, really. Life’s just utterly an adventure. SO MUCH HAPPENING. Well, if you consider “an adventure” being “working a whole damn lot, then sleeping so you can do it again.” However, this week’s got less work in it than last week, so every day’s a blessing, I suppose.

OK, this is brief, but I have to get to sleep. Well, I have like three more things to do. THEN I can get to sleep. I always have three more things to do. That’s why I never get enough sleep, to be honest. Those three things to do. DAMN YOU THOSE THREE THINGS TO DO.

Happy Thursday, people. Send those good thoughts, ok? I need ’em this afternoon. OVERWHELM me with them. Send me on my way with so many good thoughts that I can’t even have a single minute of awkwardness or self-doubt. That’d be the best. Thanks so much.


…and I’ll no longer be a Capulet. Or a Juliet, actually.

OK, I have two hours and then it’s bedtime. I’m so tired I’m pretty sure I’m on the way to seeing things that aren’t there. Like little green men or possibly large pink bunnies, I don’t know. If I can get a full night’s sleep tonight that would be so sweet. Sleep has become like a long-lost lover to me lately that I think of fondly and with much longing. I miss you, sleep. Come back to me, please, sleep. I promise to show you a good time.

I had to tell you some things yesterday. OK, what were the things. Sex-change cat; sword-cane; The Shape of Things; strip club. And whatever else crosses my sleep-deprived brain-area.

Sex-change cat!

So we answer all kinds of calls at work. Doctor’s offices, lawyers, heating and cooling places, apartment complexes – if a place ever closes, and needs someone on call after hours, we’re your place. We answer for a bunch of vet offices. I like the vet offices, because I feel like I am being HELPFUL to the ANIMALS. (Although sometimes the callers ask something silly, like “My dog ate some raw chicken, will he die?” and I SO want to say “No, because IT IS A DOG and DOGS EAT RAW THINGS ALL THE TIME AND ALSO GARBAGE” and I have to exert all my self-control not to.) Anyway, someone called a vet line the other day and – I am SO not kidding – asked to have the vet call them back so they could get a sex change operation for their cat.

A SEX CHANGE OPERATION. FOR THEIR CAT.

His name was “Romeo” so I assume he wanted to become a “Juliet.”

We even listened to the call because we assumed it was probably a prank call and we wanted to talk to the operator about what to do when a prank call comes in but it wasn’t even a prank call. Just a fella wantin’ a sex change operation for his kitteh.

I don’t even…what leads someone to make this phone call? What leads you to want a sex change operation for your cat? Did your cat meow in a feminine fashion so you assumed they’re really a lady? Did you catch your cat wearing little cat-dresses? (I totally knew a cat that had a little cat-dress once and it made me laugh so hard I almost died. It was PINK. And yes, it was a real live cat and not even a stuffed animal.) Did your cat hump another man-cat so you’re like “THAT IS EEEVIL” so you think it’s probably trapped in a man-cat body?

This is more of a housedress. This cat is not fancy.

Listen, Dumbcat meows like a lady. I’ll totally admit it. He also sometimes sounds like an opera singer. He has a very high cat-voice. But I don’t think he needs a sex-change operation. How would I even KNOW such a thing? DUMBCAT IS A BOY. He’ll have to stay a boy, because HE CANNOT TELL ME HE WANTS ANYTHING ELSE. Because HE IS A CAT.

This is insane and makes me sad for the cat. I hope the vet clinic didn’t even bother calling that guy back the next day, seriously.

This segues nicely into SWORD-CANE GUY.

So we also answer for some places that we have to take orders for. These make me sad because they are for old people who can’t figure out this new thing called “the intertubes” and so they want to talk to a human because they think if they type their credit card number into the typewriter attached to a television it will be stolen by alien robots.

…and they eat our medicine for fuel.

One of them sells canes. All the canes. Many types of fancy canes. (So…not a lot of young people call that line, then.)

So a man called me the other day, and I got his name and shit, as one does, and then was all, “How can I help you today, sir?” and he said, “Well, I wonder if you have any sword-canes.” And I said, “Um. Sword-canes?” and he said, “Yes. Canes, that are also a dangerous sword.” So I said, “Like…in a James Bond film?” and he said, “JUST LIKE THAT.” So I said, “Have you…checked our catalog online?” because that’s what we’re supposed to do, and he said, all conspiratorially, “YES. But you wouldn’t have them in the catalog. They’re MUCH too dangerous. They’d be something you’d NEVER talk about. Unless someone were to call you and ask about them SPECIFICALLY.” So I was all “Um. Mmm-hmm” and got the rest of his info without even laughing at him. Are you so proud of me? I know. I know you are.

SWORD-CANES!

This one’s even scarier, ’cause, DRAGON. It will BITE you and also STAB you. DOUBLY DANGEROUS!!!

So then my coworker was all, “WHAT THE HELL IS A SWORD CANE” so I drew her this helpful diagram which I brought home with me so I could show you. Because I love you.

My job might kind of have killed me this week but I still got the giggles more than not.

SWORD CANE!!!

Ooh, this one you can PUSH TO OPEN and also it’s a COBRA. Hiss!

Oh, yeah, as you can see, I’m totally quite the artiste. And also that’s my handwriting. Like it? I have trouble sticking with either cursive or print so I fluctuate between the two, it’s an issue I have.

STRIP CLUB! Ding Dong Joe’s been waiting for this part of the post. He’s taking off the minute when this is done.

So right around the corner from my house (well, not THAT close. Let’s say like, I don’t know, 5 minutes away or something, I don’t know, it’s not far) is a strip club/juice bar. I think that’s what it is. Because in New York you can take your clothes off and sell juice, and you can leave your clothes on and sell beer, but never the twain shall meet. Well, not legally, anyway, and not on stage for money.

It is called Night Moves. (Oh! Shit! Sorry. NITE Moves. They don’t spell it right. My fault.) It is not my FAVORITE strip club. My favorite strip club was run by a crazy and they shut him down for some reason and one year at Christmas he put a blow-up Santa being serviced by a blow-up doll on his roof as a protest and it was both inappropriate and hilarious? Because I have a strange sense of humor? They made him take it down. But for a short period of time it was THE FUNNIEST YET WORST THING EVER.

Anyway, so my area was TOTALLY FAMOUS because we were on The Colbert Report the other night with a report about Night/Nite Moves because the owner tried to get strippers claimed as dancers so he didn’t have to pay his back taxes. No, seriously. I would embed the clip but I can’t because Comedy Central and WordPress don’t play nice so here’s the link. The local arts guy is the guy that does the restaurant reviews for the paper and I kind of love him. (I think he does other things, too. He’s pretty great. But he’s most well known for his foodie stuff.)

FINALLY, then I’m TOTALLY going to bed, I went to see a play last night, even though I was EXHAUSTED, and listen. LISTEN. Sometimes you’re all “ugh, I really shouldn’t do this, I should go home and go to bed” or whatever but people are RELYING on you so you GO and then something magical happens.

Best show I’ve seen all year. I see…well, less shows now, since I’m poorer than poor, but let’s say anywhere from 2-5 shows a month? All year long? Times twelve? So that’s a lot. More than your average human being.

The acting was brilliant. The lighting was…well, I haven’t seen anything like it in a long time. It was cinematic. It was a revelation. The set was understated but such an integral part of the show it made my heart hurt. The music was perfectly chosen. (“Coin-Operated Boy” at one point, and did I bop along in my seat? Yep.)

And it was at MY THEATER, so you might be all “AMY YOU ARE BIASED” but I didn’t even work on this one, so I’m completely unbiased. (Also, I don’t believe in being biased. I’ve said “best thing I’ve seen all year” about things I’ve seen at my theater, at theaters I don’t care much for, at theaters with millions of dollars in revenue, theaters in basements. Doesn’t matter much. Best thing I’ve seen all year doesn’t get biased. The only thing not considered for it? The things I haven’t seen, because in order to be considered, I have to have seen it, you know?)

Anyway. If you are local, you need to get over to my theater (it’s Albany Civic Theater, we’re at the end of 787, check out the website for directions) and go see The Shape of Things. Four more shows: today at 3 and then three next weekend. If you’re not in the area, read the play or watch the movie, because it’s wonderful and I think you will love it. (OK, disclaimer: if you don’t like shows about how terrible we can be to one another as humans, and about art and deep thinking and manipulation and sex and rough language and such, probably you shouldn’t read/watch it? But if you’re ok with these things if they’re done well, and not just for effect, then it’s for you. Promise. Neil LaBute is a master at what he does.)

But if you’re here, it’s $15 at my theater, it’s live theater, and it’s one of the most brilliant things you’ll ever see on stage. I promise. If there’s an adorable blonde at the box office, tell her Amy from Lucy’s Football sent you. You’re not going to get a DISCOUNT or anything, but she’ll get a kick out of that, I think. She finds this whole blog-thing amusing and also mind-boggling. (Adorable blonde is friend K. who I love more than chocolate.)

Oh, and also, in the audience last night? People were TERRIBLE and POORLY BEHAVED. They were talking through the whole show. One woman was narrating: “Oh! She said that because he LOST WEIGHT!” or “SHE DOESN’T LIKE HER.” Thank you, lady; without you, how would I have known these things? At one point, someone made a poor choice (or, what someone in the audience thought was a poor choice); another audience member said, “FUCK!” loudly, and everyone laughed at her comment, so she was all “durrr hee hee!” at herself. At another point, someone decided she’d had enough of this “sitting” thing people talk about, so she stood in the aisle and talked to her friend. The man next to me sat so splay-legged he was pretty much riding my leg like a Kmart automated quarter-pony. I feel like he should have given me a wet-wipe and $50 when he was done with me.

THESE THINGS ALL HAPPENED WHILE ACTING WAS HAPPENING ON THE STAGE.

K. and A. and I just kept looking at each other in horror. When did shit like this start being ok? Why do people think the theater is a bowling alley or their living room or something? The actors can HEAR you. They can hear you talking while they are trying to act, you assholes. SHUT UP. I know. I know we need their money. I KNOW THIS. But also, common courtesy? No? Please? THOSE ARE HUMANS ON THE STAGE. SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

Anyway. It was amazing; the final moment of the show shocked me into tears (and I know the show. I KNEW IT WAS COMING.) It was a brilliant, amazing, surprising, risk-taking night of theater. K. and A. and I immediately leapt to our feet to give them a standing ovation at curtain call (the rest of that asshole audience, for the most part, sat right there on their asses and clapped in a bored fashion. I HATE YOU I HATE YOU.) I wish you all could be there.

Ooh, look what I found, the director made a trailer for it. He’s a smartie, that one. Here here here, it’s as close as you all can get without being there:

(I also got some potentially very exciting news, which you don’t get to share for bit. The chickens are a little closer to being counted. That’s all I can say for now.)

Supposed to have been in bed ten minutes ago. Have to go, cupcakes. Long day of work tomorrow, then seeing friend C. for the first time in months tomorrow night, then I get a NIGHT to MYSELF and a DAY OFF. Have to finish this, write one email, then off I go to sleep. I hope. Oh, sleep. How I miss you.

Happy Sunday. Watch out for sword-canes! They are always where you least expect them and then you’ll get stabbed in the face-area.


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